CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Senate on Tuesday passed a bill (SB 579) that requires hotels to install carbon monoxide detectors.
Last month, a Rhode Island construction worker died and several other hotel guests were seriously injured by carbon monoxide poisoning at the South Charleston Holiday Inn Express.
A South Charleston police investigation found that workers had failed to connect an indoor swimming pool heater pipe correctly.
"This bill was born out of a tragic accident at a Kanawha County hotel last month," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha.
The legislation also requires carbon monoxide detectors in hospitals, nursing homes, college dormitories and apartment buildings.
Legislators and police have said the worker's death could have been prevented, if the hotel had a carbon monoxide detector or alarm.
The bill goes to the House.
Also Tuesday, the state Senate:
* Passed legislation (SB 139) that makes driving without a seat belt a primary offense. That means police officers could pull motorists over if they're spotted not wearing seat belts. Under the bill, fines for not wearing a seat belt would drop from $25 to $15. Now, police can cite drivers for failing to wear a seatbelt only if they commit another traffic offense first.
* Approved a bill (SB 528) designed to clamp down on copper theft in West Virginia.
Frontier Communications has reported a rash of thefts of copper telephone cable wire.
The legislation requires scrap dealers to obtain a business license and scales registered with the state. The bill also requires additional documents for all scrap metal sales.
* Passed legislation (SB 340) that allows the Secondary School Activities Commission to regulate concussions and head injuries sustained by student athletes.